Today’s play of the day is an exciting battle between two of the worst products Major League Baseball has to offer. Finding perceptible edges in battles like these usually comes down to three variables. Form, pitching, and where the game is played. As the fourth game of the series, we can safely say that the visiting team, who is up 2-1, is in better form. As you will see from our analysis, the visiting team is also sending the better pitcher to the hill. However, the home team has won six of their last nine against this team when playing with home-field advantage. Can one of the worst teams in baseball really be trusted on the road? Let’s dig deeper.
Baltimore Orioles vs. Detroit Tigers
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The Baltimore Orioles are set to do battle with the Detroit Tigers in an afternoon affair. The season is winding down, and while many teams have better things in store for 2020, the same cannot be said about Baltimore and Detroit. Baltimore has been pitiful this season. They would easily be the worst team in baseball if not for the Detroit Tigers. The Tigers have an atrocious 49-100 record on the season. They have a 26-48 record on the road. They have scored 4.37 runs per game on the season. That run total ranks higher than that of the San Francisco Giants. The Orioles have won two of the three games in this series. Including a surprise win over the Los Angeles Dodgers, they have won three of their last five contests.
Detroit has been an unmitigated disaster in 2019. While they were expected to be a bottom-10 team, very few envisioned that they would sink so far so as to lay claim to the worst team in baseball title. They have a horrendous 44-104 record on the season, and they have mustered just 20 wins at home. Their 20-54 record at home is the worst in the league. The Tigers have scored the fewest runs per game at just 3.72 per contest. Detroit has lost four of its last five contests.
Baltimore will be sending the sometimes on, and sometimes off John Means to the mound. Detroit will be countering with the seemingly-overmatched Tyler Alexander. Means has a surprising 10-10 record, 3.47 ERA and 1.11 WHIP on the season. He has not been as sharp on the road this season. He holds a 4.47 ERA and 1.36 WHIP away from Camden Yards. This would be a cause for concern, but Means was strong in his line start against the Orioles this season. He pitched six innings of one-run ball, striking out seven. Means has allowed more than three runs in just four of his 28 appearances and 24 starts this season. He has allowed two runs or fewer in six of his last 10 starts.
Alexander has a 0-3 record on the season. He has a poor 5.36 ERA and 1.40 WHIP. Tyler Alexander has been a disaster at home this season. He has a 6.61 ERA and 1.41 WHIP through five appearances that include two starts. He has allowed four or more runs in four of his 10 appearances this season. This number is alarming because he has only made five starts this season. The Tigers have lost four of his five starts this season.
Edge: Baltimore Orioles
The trends for this contest read just as poorly as one might expect.
- They have lost 46 of their last 68 contests against the AL Central.
- They have lost 35 of their last 52 road contests against teams with a home winning percentage below .400.
- They have lost 27 of their last 35 Monday contests.
- They have lost seven of their last nine game fours of a series.
- They have lost 123 of their last 171 road contests.
- They have lost 25 of their last 35 Monday games.
- They have lost 65 of their last 84 overall.
- They have lost 36 of their last 52 games fours of a series.
- They have lost six of their last eight contests against teams with a winning percentage below the .400 mark.
- They have lost four of their last five contests against the AL East.
- They have lost 48 of their last 59 home contests.
- Baltimore has lost five of his last seven starts on four days of rest.
- Baltimore has lost seven of his last nine road starts.
- Baltimore has lost four of his last five starts when they have allowed two runs or fewer in their previous contest.
- Detroit has lost four of his last five starts.
- Has allowed four or more runs in four of his ten appearances.
- Has allowed four or more runs in three of his five starts.
- Has allowed one walk or fewer in all five of his starts and all ten of his appearances.
Edge: Baltimore Orioles
The line for this contest has already started to see some movement. It opened at +120 on Detroit, and it has since moved to +129, and +125 at PointsBet. All kidding aside, a battle between the two worst teams in baseball is nothing to get excited about. In most cases, taking the home team would be the prudent play. However, each team has a starting pitching option that would be worth taking even on the road. Baltimore is starting theirs in 26-year-old John Means.
The Orioles have predictably been weak in Detroit, as they have lost six of their last nine contests at Comerica Park. However, they have won two of the three games in this series and look primed to make it a fourth this afternoon. Despite the Orioles being one of the worst teams in baseball, pitching, not hitting has been their downfall this season. With Means toeing the rubber, -145 looks to be a solid value. Roll with the Orioles as a one unit play.